Super Bowl Sunday is this weekend, and we all know what that means. For us, tensions will be high as the Denver Broncos prepare to face off against the Seattle Seahawks (“The Doobie Bowl”), and many of us will be crowded around the television in blindingly offensive shades of carrot orange and navy blue, screaming at the television.
I don’t mind most of the Super Bowl. There’s the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet a few hours ahead of time, there’s the fun, partying atmosphere, there’s good food, the commercials are great and sometimes the halftime show doesn’t suck. However, I have less than no interest in the actual football game itself. That means that it puzzles me to see just how obsessed with sports people can be.
In general, I don’t get sports, on any level. I have a healthy regard for the Washington Capitals hockey team, but that’s about it. I know the rules of football, but I don’t go out of my way to watch it. When teams win, people are euphoric, and when they lose, fans scream, cry, sulk and their day ruined by something they can’t even control. When the Broncos lost to the Baltimore Ravens last year in the playoffs, I remember being concerned that my dad would be so invested in a game that he had no control over that he would lose control, shout and rave like someone being tortured by the Taliban (sorry, Dad, but that’s what you sounded like). I don’t get how seeing other people lose a game can cause so much heartbreak in otherwise rational human beings.
In that way, I guess it’s like when fans obsess over a TV show, and I suppose everyone has an inner nerd that needs to be expressed in some way, and geeking out over sports is the most acceptable way to release it. Seeing people in Buffalo Wild Wings cheer and groan at the same time while watching a Broncos game is not that dissimilar to seeing fans on the internet flip their collective lids over the latest episode of Sherlock. It brings people together, and while you’ll say, “Yeah, but sports are real life, not fiction!” I’d like to remind you all that none of you have any more control over the game’s outcome than you do over whether Katniss winds up with Gale or Peeta in The Hunger Games.
Life is full of things we can’t control. We can’t control the weather and we can’t control who wins or loses a football game. That said, we don’t say our entire day is ruined when it starts to rain, so why do many of us mope for a week or more when a bunch of overpaid athletes lose a children’s game? This isn’t a phenomenon that’s confined to football, but to all sports. Why do people cry, riot, drink like fish and get mad when their team loses?
I think it would be a happier world if we focused on the fun of the Super Bowl parties and of hanging out with friends instead of who wins or loses the game. Spending time with people you love, chowing down on nachos, meatballs, and buffalo wings, laughing at the goofy commercials—those are the important things. I look forward to Super Bowl Sunday every year because of the chance to catch up with people I haven’t seen in a while, not because I want to see a certain team win or lose.
It’s not about who wins or loses, but about the fun of being around people you love, relaxing, and enjoying yourself. It should be about community and friendship, not about competition. If we win, hooray, but if we lose, we should be graceful about it, sigh, and move on with our lives. If we lose, it’s not the end of the world.
Allison Chase is a junior Creative Writing major. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.